Arcturus live At The 02 Academy Islington, London 13th December 2013



Arcturus are an avante- garde metal band  that formed in 1987 in Norway. The name is taken from the star of the same name and means ”Bear Guardian” They have produced 4 albums & the set for this show consisted of selected tracks from those albums. The sound is a mixture of black metal, symphonic black & avante garde with clean/unclean vocals that have a pleading, questioning, spacey feel to them, however, unclean vocals were sparse at this show. The whole sound feels like black shards & splinters of glass falling into a boiling vessel of magnesium. The onstage presence has a Mad Max/Steampunk/Medieval/Star Gazer vibe about it, and going back to the sound, it reminds me of a band from the 80’s i used to listen to called ”Ring’. There is space in the sound that has a floaty feel, it’s not all intensity, there is space to float on a dust cloud through the expanses of space taking in the feelings of bliss.

The eleven song set was energetic throughout & the band seemed to be enjoying the set more and more as it progressed. As is usually the case at The 02, there is a curfew & just when you are fully loosened up to the proceedings, it ends.

My only downer of the night was bad attitude of a photographer who thought it was good form to stick her lense in my line of sight whilst i was composing a shot. My enjoyment & focus was temporarily diverted from the proceedings by this idiot but putting that aside i will say that it was an enjoyable night. I did have one issue. All of the other bands i have covered at this venue have let the photographers snap away through their sets with no restriction as long as they have not used their flashes. If the normal 3 song maximum is to be enforced then i would have appreciated the ticket office telling me before hand.I was informed by a helpful paramedic that the security were about to throw me out for breaking the rules.


Members ;-

Steinar Sverd Johnsen

Jan Axel Blomberg (Age of Silence, Antestor, Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir, Dynasty of Darkness, Emperor, The Kovenant, Jørn Lande, Mayhem, Mezzerschmitt, Mortem, Shining, Thorns, Troll, Winds)

Hugh Mingay (Ved Buens Ende)

Knut Magne Valle (Ulver)

ICS Vortex  (Lamented Souls, Dimmu Borgir, Borknagar, Arcturus, Code)

Set List;-

1 – Evacuation Code (SideShow Symphonies)

2 – Ad Absurdum

3 – Nightmare Heaven

4 – Alone (La Masquerade Infernale)

5 – Chaos Path (La Masquerade Infernale)

6 – Deception Genesis ( Disguised Masters)

7 – Painting My Horror ( La Masquerade Infernale)

8 – Master Of Disguise ( La Masquerade Infernale)

9 – Hibernation Sickness (Sideshow Symphonies)

10 – Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer ( Sideshow Symphonies)

11 – Raudt Og Svart ( Aspera Hiems Symfonia – Constellation – My Angel)

Associated Record Labels;-

Century Media,

Music for Nations,


The End,


Season of Mist

Online Presence;-


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